Saturday, May 14, 2011

Fia or Zenophilia?

Enjoying our morning walk along the right bank of the Seine River in Paris, we strolled into a little pet store on an early Saturday morning – just to take a peek. (“Please, mom, can we take a look?” “Of course, I answered.” ‘I wouldn’t buy a pet while traveling abroad,’ I thought to myself.”)

We named our new Yorkie, Zenophilia or Xenophilia, which means welcoming to strangers. There were so many people hustling and bustling to and from, locals, tourists, bicyclists, it just seemed like the perfect name for a city whose history welcomes strangers from all over the globe.

Her temperament led to our shortening her name to just Fia. And by the way, she’s not all that welcoming to strangers.

While traveling to Italy, staying in a little castle outside Pisa under the same mountain range where Michaelango went up and chose his marble, Fia made her perspectives on strangers known. As the young woman from reception bought us the Chef’s menu for the evening, Fia nipped her in the ankle before anyone knew that the terrifying Tazmanian-like growls and grunts were indeed coming from this little miniature Yorkie with the pink bow. This wasn’t the first time her razor-sharp teeth made their mark.

I’m abashed to admit that our little Fia has felt the same way about the Irish, English, Scottish, Portuguese, Spaniards, Dutch, Welsh, French, Germans, and Swiss, as she felt that day about the young Italian woman. And now, that we’re back in America, she’s made certain to let the entire neighborhood know that there’s a French girl on the block and she means business in an Oh la la, trés cool-kinda way.

The reactions to this little hellion are either shrieking laughter at mere sight of this little Yahooligan or the more timid, completely devoid of character response that is common in these woods, “Yikes. I’ve never seen a dog do that before.”

As I apologize, tug on the leash, I can’t help but slyly laugh about our little, Joan of Arc French puppy, and how it pleases me to no end that she tells most of these people what I really think. 

I often wonder, while rollerblading down the hill with her, what an alien would think if it landed and wondered who was the master. Her or me, the one ten paces behind Alpha Girl on a leash, picking up after her more personal business as she announces her royal presence to every dog along the bike trail.

Skating down the mountain hill following my vicious, four thousand dollar French designer puppy, I can’t help but hear Lily Tomlin mock me in the back of my mind, “I always wanted to be somebody. Now I see I should have been more specific.” 

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